Abdullah bin Zayed and diagnosing the flaw in Europe’s approach

Turki Aldakhil
Turki Aldakhil
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During a Tweeps Forum organized by the Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (MiSK) Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed addressed the challenge of rising terrorism in Europe and held European countries responsible for the crimes taking place there as it does not make sense to hold Islamic countries responsible for all the acts happening in Britain, Spain, Germany, France and Belgium.

The problem also lies in the overlapping of European institutions. There are old laws which haven’t been amended and that allows those involved with violent movements and groups spreading hatred to move freely without being held accountable.

Europe does not view the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist while Arab moderate countries, like Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, do. What is interesting is that Salman Abedi, the Manchester suicide bomber, grew up in Brotherhood institutions and his ideology is affiliated with the Brotherhood to the core.

How can you criminalize al-Qaeda and ISIS without criminalizing the source which produced them, i.e. the Brotherhood’s ideology?

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the successor and old friend of the founder and leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, said the latter grew up in Muslim Brotherhood hotbeds and was still one of the Brotherhood. Yussef al-Qardawi said that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was “one of the brothers,” i.e. from the Brotherhood.

Despite all this, European institutions have not exerted pressure on Muslim Brotherhood and their ideas that spread terrorism. The same applies to the Khomeini revolution which sparks the Brotherhood’s ideology. The revolution led by Khomeini was influenced by the writings of Hassan al-Bana and Sayyid Qutb. Their ideology was thus based on the Brotherhood’s.

Abdullah bin Zayed has the right to be angry as free spaces have been provided to civilians, to people spreading intolerance and to civil society institutions but Europe has not done what Muslim countries did to terrorist groups

Turki Aldakhil

There was no schizophrenia between their Shiite sect and the Brotherhood affiliation, as narrated by Ayat Allah Taleb Rifai in his memoirs which he dictated to Doctor Rashid al-Khayoun. Ideology came before the sect. All this evidence refutes the notion that the Brotherhood is a political group as it’s rather a takfiri movement. It is the Brotherhood, which brought out all the faces of terrorism in its Sunni and Shiite forms.

Abdullah bin Zayed has the right to be angry as free spaces have been provided to civilians, to people spreading intolerance and to civil society institutions but Europe has not done what Muslim countries did to terrorist groups.

Identifying terror outfits

The Saudi royal decree no. 44 was issued on February 3, 2014 and listed al-Qaeda, the Houthis, Hezbollah al-Hejaz, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Nusra Front and ISIS as terror groups. These were listed by the power of royal commands, which are the highest legal entity in the country.

In the UAE, the federal law no. 7 was issued in 2014 to combat terrorist crimes. Article 14 of the law stated that “Capital punishment or life imprisonment shall be imposed on whoever commits an action or inaction intended for threatening the State’s stability, safety, unity, sovereignty or security, which contradicts the basic principles underlying the governance system of the State, or with the purpose of making a coup and taking over the power.”

In Egypt, the counterterrorism law was issued on July 2012 after the cabinet amended a draft law, which stipulated finalizing legal cases quickly, granting more power to law enforcement officers and imposing stricter punishment on criminals.

The law stated: “Execution will be the punishment of anyone who managed, ran, organized, funded or led a terrorist group,” adding that those who spread terrorist ideas via the internet would be sentenced to five years in prison. The cabinet referred the draft law to the president for approval so they can implement it. They had amended it and included special measures in the added articles.

Europe must confront its terrorism. Each country must bear its responsibilities. “And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.”

This article is also available in Arabic.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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